The documents are said to have been leaked by a disgruntled ISIS defector. They were obtained by the Syrian website Zaman Al-Wasl which then shared files of the Canadians exclusively with CBC News.
There are some familiar names among the six. Calgarian Farah Shirdon is among them, previously seen in a finger-wagging, passport-burning video.
Based on the documents, it appears Shirdon entered Syria just a few weeks before ISIS recorded his threats against Canada and the United States. The RCMP announced last September that Shirdon, 22, was being charged in absentia under the Criminal Code related to his alleged support of ISIS.
Four men from Edmonton, all relatives, are also contained in the documents.
It shows they entered ISIS territory Nov. 12, 2013.
The four from Edmonton are identified as Omar Abdirahman Aden, brothers Hamza and Hersey Kariye, and their cousin Mahad Hersi.
Mahad’s father gave a heartbreaking interview to CBC News a year ago shortly after he was informed that his son and nephews were killed fighting for ISIS. He told CBC he’d brought his son to Canada to escape the war in Somalia. He could not fathom why his son would join ISIS
The document shows they were all smuggled into Syria by the same person, Mohammed Hussein.
Sources have told the CBC News that Hussein is a well-known smuggler in charge of the Ezaz crossing from Turkey into Syria.
Although the documents don’t date past 2014, German authorities and experts have said they are authentic.
Paper trail has disadvantages for ISIS
Michel Picard, Canada’s parliamentary secretary for public safety told CBC News he is eager to hear directly from Canada’s security agencies about the authenticity of the documents.
“As soon as we identify someone as coming back from the region who has been away to learn terrorist skills, the RCMP has a mandate to follow these individuals for the security of Canadians and to make sure that they do not represent a risk,” says Picard.
There is at least one name on the list of six that is a bit of a mystery.
It is someone calling himself Hussain Baroot. His nom de guerre is listed as Abu Othman Al-Lubnani (The Lebanese).
The ISIS document identifies him as a Canadian from Calgary who is applying for the position of a fighter. He lists his date of birth, his occupation, his mother’s name and his Calgary phone numbers.
CBC called the home number he left behind, but it has been disconnected.
Baroot left his passport, driver’s license and strangely enough, what he called a “Canadian gift”, with ISIS officials for safekeeping.
It is not clear who he is or whether he is back in Canada, a prospect that makes security services deeply nervous.
ISIS’s obsession with paperwork and bureaucracy does provide learning opportunities for intelligence agencies around the world. The terror group appears to keep meticulous notes which, if authenticated, should help security forces fill in some gaps about how fighters are getting to the group and who is recruiting them.
News organization around the world have now published portions of the list which is said to include some 1700 names of jihadis from 40 countries.
The paperwork is said to have been compiled and organized by the General Administration of Borders, a department of ISIS responsible for foreign jihadis.
If it was indeed released by a defector it’s believed this will enrage the ISIS leadership which will wonder who amongst its ranks are traitors.